Experts from Russia, the USA and several European countries contributed presentations and participated in panel discussions on a range of topics concerning narratives, the media and politics in Russia and the West at NUPI's annual Russia conference.

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The Internet, the media and politics in Russia

The first session focused on the Internet, the media and politics in Russia. Daniel Treisman (UCLA) spoke on Russia and the information autocracy; Iliya Kiriya (Higher School of Economics, Moscow) gave a presentation on the new media as alternative media in Russia; and the presentation of independent journalists Andrei Soldatov and Irina Borogan bore the title ‘The Kremlin’s Wars on the Internet’.

What does Russia really want?

Panel 2 was titled Russia, the West and the Competition over Narratives in International Affairs. Sarah Oates (University of Maryland) evaluated a selection of Facebook postings connected to Russia during the US election campaigns, offering insights on the impressions made. NUPI researcher Julie Wilhelmsen reviewed the dynamics of Russian–Western interaction from a Norwegian perspective.  And in her presentation, Kadri Liik (European Council on Foreign Relations), asked: ‘What does Russia want?’

Case studies

The final session focused on case studies shedding light on the competition over narratives.

The presentation by Joanna Szotek (Royal Holloway, University of London) drew on findings from a research project on public opinion in Ukraine, how Ukrainians use news sources and how they respond to strategic narratives. NUPI researcher Jakub Godzimirski presented findings from the study conducted together with Malin Østevik (also NUPI) of Russian strategic communication and political ambitions in Europe. Hanna Smith (European Centre of Excellence for Countering Hybrid Threats, Finland) rounded off with a presentation on hybrid warfare.

Read more about NUPI’s research on Russia and Eurasia here.